Catharine Zeta-Jones, 41, was hospitalized for five days at the Silver Hill Hospital, Connecticut, last week and treated for bipolar disorder II. With bipolar disorder II the individual experiences depression and one or more episodes of hypomania, but no severe mania, which occurs in bipolar disorder I.

Hypomania is less severe than mania, but similar. The patient has an elevated mood, raised activity, sleeps less, has feelings of grandiosity, and racing thoughts. However, symptoms are not severe enough to cause considerable distress or disabling enough to impair one’s work, social life or family life like manic episodes do.

Put simply, those with bipolar disorder I have extreme mood swings, while those with bipolar disorder II have mood swings, but less severe ones.

A spokesman for the Welsh Hollywood actress said that after dealing with the stress of the past year, Catharine Zeta-Jones decided to check into the hospital for a short stay to treat her disorder. The spokesman added “She’s feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on her two upcoming films.”.

Dealing with the illness of her husband, Michael Douglas, over the last year has been extremely stressful. In 2010 Michael Douglas told a TV audience that he had been diagnosed with stage four throat cancer (link). In January 2011 he announced that the tumor had gone and that he believed he was beating the disease (link).

According to various US media sources, Catharine Zeta-Jones went in for treatment because she is about to start working and wanted to make sure she is in top form. She is believed to have checked out of the hospital on 11th April. Experts say bipolar disorder II can sometimes be triggered by a traumatic event.

The following actors are known to have had bipolar disorder:

  • Maurice Benard
  • Russell Brand
  • Jeremy Brett
  • Richard Dreyfuss
  • Patty Duke
  • Carrie Fisher
  • Stephen Fry
  • Mel Gibson
  • Linda Hamilton
  • Mariette Hartley
  • Vivien Leigh
  • Jenifer Lewis
  • Kristy McNichol
  • Burgess Meredith
  • Eric Millegan
  • Spike Milligan
  • Cheri Oteri
  • David Strickland
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme

Written by Christian Nordqvist